Scania wins first double-deck gas order
Reading Buses has placed the first order for Scania’s new N280UD double-deck gas bus with five buses worth £1.3million due to join the existing 34 Scania single-deck gas buses it already operates.
Reading has stressed that it is purchasing the double-decks without any government grant which it says is proof of the economic viability and reliability of CNG-powered buses.
“Our gas buses are consistently high performers in terms of both reliability and customer appeal with considerably quieter and greener engines than conventional diesel vehicles,” says John Bickerton, Reading Buses chief engineer.
“We were the first UK operator of Scania’s gas single-deck buses and our experience of these has proven the economic case to add more such vehicles within our existing depot infrastructure and come back three years later with yet another major order that is again a ‘first’ for gas buses.”
The new double-deck Scania will have an ADL Enviro 400MMC body and will be delivered in October 2016 to replace existing Scania N230 double-decks on Reading’s royal blue 33 services operating along Tilehurst Road between Reading town centre, Tilehurst and Turnham’s Farm. Reading Buses says that its existing gas fuelling facilities will be able to accommodate the additional five double-decks without the need for further expansion.
The buses will also feature the recently-launched Reading Buses’ interior with high back seats, at-seat USB charging sockets, free 4G wi-fi and next-stop audio and visual customer information systems.
Chief executive officer Martijn Gilbert adds: “We are very excited about being the launch customer for Scania’s new double-deck gas product and the leading edge environmental credentials that these buses will bring to our town and customers.
“We are continuing to work tirelessly with our industry partners to provide innovative solutions to keeping our town moving, improving air quality and enhancing the travelling experience for our customers.
“I am confident the pioneering new buses will take all these factors to even greater heights and continue our work to embody the bus as the very best way to get around Reading.”
The royal blue 33 operates seven days a week with frequencies of up to every 10 minutes on weekdays along Tilehurst Road. The new buses will come into operation in October 2016 replacing five older buses currently used on the route.
Scania’s UK bus and coach fleet sales general manager Mark Oliver says: “We’re delighted to welcome the company as our launch customer for our much anticipated gas double-decker and look forward to working with them and the wider UK bus industry to continue demonstrating the excellent environmental and operational credentials of gas power and Scania’s product range.
“Our new double deck model complements our popular K280UB single decker range and has been developed in response to the UK industry’s demands for greater capacity for city and town bus operations.”
Keith Watson, customer development director, Alexander Dennis Limited adds: “Over the course of our history we have repeatedly pioneered frontier technology as part of ADL’s drive towards the ultimate goal of zero emissions. This journey has come a long way and involved numerous partnerships ranging across smart technology, mild hybrids, full blown hybrid expertise, virtual electric and pure electric know-how.
“In a similar vein, we are delighted to be working in partnership with Scania and Reading Buses in the development and introduction of vehicles driven by CNG derived from a bio-methane source.”